Staying at the Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, Singapore

By Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson settles in at Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, Singapore.
Photo / 123RF
Photo / 123RF

Location: Stands above a mall on Orchard Rd in the city centre. You'll literally get the picture when you go to the 20th-storey rooftop.

Check-in: On the 10th floor, after catching a lift from ground level. A swift transaction. After trading a credit card "impression" for an electronic entry key and a map, you're ready to unveil your digs.

Room: A studio on the 18th floor overlooking the metropolis. Lock the air-con on 19C and crack open a beer as an antidote to the oppressive heat ... oh, hang on a minute, the mini bar's not stocked.

Price: Varies. Generally costs about $240 a night, but look for deals.

What's so good about this place? Location. You're right above the Somerset MRT station to get anywhere quickly. You'll also be counting the hours until the sun goes over the yard arm to enjoy the ambience and refreshments on bean bags or loungers next to the rooftop pool.

And the bad? Where's the gumboot tea? Each to their own with jasmine-scented-this and raspberry-infused-that, but only three English Breakfast teabags? I need more of a stash than that to last a day. The office chair also appeared a tad soiled.

What's in the neighbourhood? Most central city locations are within 20 minutes if you jump on the MRT. Alternatively, grab a cab from ground level or stride around to see the city.

Food and drink? I didn't sample the restaurants and bars (given the bevy in Singapore), but the breakfast was hearty and offered something for all tastes. If I'm picky, the French toast could have been softer (or spent less time in the rack) before it was loaded with bacon and smeared with maple syrup.

The bed: A comfy queen with space for about 450 degrees of roll.

Bathroom: Overhead shower, which offered comprehensive dousing coverage; a bidet to make things extra-civilised; and a magnified shaving mirror which placed every follicle and pore under scrutiny.

Noise: Contained the sort of light and soundproof curtains Bill Clinton would have approved of during his Oval Office tenure. No excuses for a disrupted sleep.

Perfect as: A base to lay your head, relax and revive on an action-packed business trip to the city over 3-4 days.

Would I return? Yes, but armed with a couple of dozen sturdy teabags and a slab of dark chocolate for emergencies.

- NZ Herald

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